Prices for new homes in the mainland rose in April with an increasing number of smaller cities driving broader growth helped by state measures that allow buyers to get around existing restrictions.
Prices in China's 70 major cities rose 0.5 percent on March, National Bureau of Statistics data indicated. On a year-on-year basis, prices increased 4.7 percent. And 58 of the 70 cities surveyed by the NBS reported higher prices in April compared to 55 cities in March, suggesting broader market strength despite curbs to contain rises.
The data also signals an increasing differentiation between urban property markets, analysts say, with policy fine-tuning allowing some easing of restrictions in smaller centers.
"This perfectly illustrates the kind of mentality still prevalent in the market," said Yan Yuejin, research director at Shanghai-based E-house China R&D Institute. "Many buyers look to buy in cities that are still cheap with lax policies and ... some kind of development concept, especially as opportunities are limited in bigger cities."
New policies to allow college graduates to bypass purchase restrictions in provincial capitals also stoked investment, said Zhang Dawei, an analyst with Hong Kong's Centaline.